Italy’s own Hour Of Penance return with yet another scorcher of an album in Cast the First Stone (Prosthetic). In a quick but powerful thirty-five minutes, the brutal death metal foursome pack riff after riff into each of the nine tracks. Each track is built on top of riffs as to allow each track to stand out on its own without feeling random nor a mirror copy of the previous track. While this makes it difficult to decide which tracks to deconstruct, it serves as a plus for the overall feel of the album.
The album track, ‘Cast the First Stone’, does a fantastic job of really packing all of the elements of Hour Of Penance together. Memorable guitar riffs over machine gun drumming and guttural vocals with short breakdowns sprinkled in leave a pleasant taste on the palate. ‘Iron Fist’ may be my favorite track off of the whole album. The guitar riff is powerful and then slides into a gorgeous solo which does not overcomplicate itself, thus not stealing the spotlight of the song, and if that was not enough enjoyment, the breakdown that drops in your lap at the end of the song should cement your opinion.
‘Horn of Flies’ is another track that really stayed with me after listening to this album a few times. While most of the song is the typical heavy side that Hour Of Penance brings, there is a melodic lead during the bridge that is, dare I say, epic. The song finishes strong returning to the form of the first half of the song.
While Cast the First Stone is not anything groundbreaking for this group, or the genre itself, they deliver an adrenaline pumping half an hour or so of quality death metal. Hour of Penance is certainly a band I will be adding to my list of bands to see moving forward based off just this album alone.